Effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions for improving erectile function and climacturia in men after prostatectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Priya Kannan (Corresponding Author), Stanley J. Winser, Lam Choi Ho, Leung C. Hei, Lam C. Kin, Garbien E. Agnieszka, Leung H.Y. Jeffrey

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions for postprostatectomy erectile dysfunction and climacturia. Data sources: Multiple databases were searched from database inception to February 2019. Review methods: Randomized controlled trials comparing physiotherapy interventions to control were included. Results: The search yielded 127 potentially relevant articles; seven met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Meta-analysis of two studies revealed a statistically significant effect of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) plus biofeedback compared to the no treatment control group for erectile function at the12-month follow-up period (risk ratio (RR) = 3.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–13.05; P = 0.05). Data from one small study (n = 31) identified a greater number of men reporting improved climacturia in the PFMT plus electrical stimulation group compared to the no treatment control group, and the overall effect was significant (RR = 15.60, 95% CI = 0.95–254.91; P = 0.05). Meta-analyses of two studies found no statistically significant differences between groups receiving PFMT and no treatment control for erectile function or climacturia at long-term follow-up. Conclusions: PFMT augmented with biofeedback improves erectile function after prostatectomy. Data from a single study found PFMT combined with electrical stimulation to be beneficial for postprostatectomy climacturia. However, electrical stimulation is recommended for terminally ill people only. The effect of PFMT alone on postprostatectomy erectile dysfunction and climacturia remains inconclusive. However, this is likely to be affected by the participant adherence and physiotherapy supervision. High-quality trials providing intensive supervision and due consideration of adherence factors are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1298-1309
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Climacturia
  • erectile dysfunction
  • prostatectomy
  • sexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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